When you have kids, taking them away on vacation is one of the most memorable experiences of their childhood. If you think back to your younger years, it’s a fair bet that you’ll have strong memories of trips away with your family, and now it’s your chance to create the same kind of memories for your own children.
Having kids is one of the most rewarding parts of life for most people, but that doesn’t mean being a parent comes without some challenges. Raising kids is hard work, even if they’re little angels – and very few are angelic all the time! If you want to enjoy your vacation time without stress, frustration, and arguments, careful planning is essential.
1. Good Places To Visit
When deciding where to go, you want to look for a place where you’ll have a chance to do your own things now and then, but the kids get plenty of time to enjoy themselves too. It means a compromise between full-time kids activities, where the parents miss out on adult interests, and a vacation spent touring museums and galleries or historical sites that even interested kids will find boring if there’s no let-up. What you need is somewhere kids can let off steam, and you can relax, which is why theme parks are so popular.
2. Theme Parks
Disneyworld has got to be the number one place most kids want to go, and it’s popular with parents too because there’s plenty of entertainments for all age groups. The whole of Orlando is packed with tourist attractions, so it’s become known as something of a hotspot for family vacations. You could explore the Everglades and get close to nature one day, then visit Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and get close to your heroes like Hulk Hogan in spookily lifelike wax form the next, or take a tour around Universal Studios.
Orlando might be number one on your kids’ wish list, but it’s not the only destination that offers multiple experiences that will appeal to everyone in your family. In North America there’s Cedar Point, Ohio; Hersheypark, Pennsylvania; Six Flags Magic Mountain in California; and Legoland, also in California, to name but a few. There are theme parks all across the world, so wherever you go, you’ll find entertainment hubs that will provide endless fascination and enjoyment for your kids.
Cities are fun places to visit, but kids can find them overwhelming and tiring after a while, so you might want to stay outside the city and travel in to see the tourist attractions. Kids are notoriously bored by the idea of shopping too (unless it’s for toys!), so if you want to get some retail therapy, you might have to find an alternative activity for the kids, or your shopping trip won’t be much fun.
4. The Great Outdoors
The countryside is a perfect place for kids to explore, run around, and get closer to nature. National parks like Yellowstone are ideal for families, as they have plenty of attractions and facilities, as well as clear and safe walking and cycling areas. Kids love to meet up with other children and play together when they’re on vacation, and going to a popular destination like a national park gives them plenty of opportunities to meet new playmates. It also gives their parents a bit of a break to chill out with a cold beer!
5. Traveling To Your Destination
Whether you choose to stay close to home or travel to the other side of the world, there’s no shortage of amazing places to visit. It might sound like an exciting idea to jet off somewhere overseas and enjoy some sun and sand in a tropical paradise, but how long will it take to get there, and what kinds of transport arrangements will you need to organize?
Many a relaxing week away has been spoiled by the arduousness of managing toddlers on long-haul flights with extended airport waiting times and multiple transfers. By the time you reach your destination, you could be so exhausted it takes you all week to regain the energy to make the return trip! Long-haul flights aren’t out of the question, but you need to be realistic about how your children will cope and the effects it might have on them.
Car trips can be made more fun if you provide plenty of entertainment en route, and have a relaxed approach to the journey, so you don’t get frustrated when the youngest child wants to stop for a toilet break for the fifth time. Train travel can be a less stressful way of traveling if you have a line that’s convenient for the trip. You don’t need to worry about potty breaks or the stresses of driving, and the kids can move about if they need to. As long as they aren’t likely to go wild and disrupt the other passengers, it’s a very pleasant way to travel.
Hotels might be perfect for mom and dad, but they’re less appealing to younger children. Too restrictive most kids would say, and it’s no fun for them being somewhere where they have to be quiet and still most of the time. If you do want the hotel experience, choose a family friendly one that welcomes children and provides activities for them.
Alternatively, any kind of camping is an adventure most kids relish, so you could go for the full camping experience, or opt for a more civilized version and go glamping. RVs make great vacation accommodation, combining the freedom of having your own place in which the kids can entertain themselves, with the ability to move around and visit different places if you wish. Older children are usually more amenable to the idea on an RV trip if they’ve gone off the idea of camping under canvas.
A well-planned vacation will be an experience you and your kids remember forever, for all the right reasons. Spending quality time with the people you love most in the world is an amazing experience, and if they’re having the time of their lives, chances are you will be too.